Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer time reading

Again, for your perusing pleasure, an excerpt from Walter Russell Mead's outstanding essay, The Top Ten Lessons of the Global Economic Meltdown:

3. The rogue states are parasites.

It may seem unkind or gloating to say so, but the point needs to be made: the pathetic pretensions of regimes like the ones in Iran and Venezuela to some kind of world leadership have been cruelly exposed. The governments of these countries are parasites on the global economy and far from representing alternatives to the global model, they are entirely dependent on capitalist success. When the global capitalist system is booming, the price of oil goes up and Venezuela and Iran have the cash for subsidies at home and adventures abroad. When the hated global system goes bust, Venezuela and Iran go broke. The leadership of these countries are like adolescents criticizing the bourgeois habits of the parents they sponge off. Both Iran and Venezuela have immense potential to help shape world civilization and culture in the twenty first century, but to make that contribution they will have to use their oil wealth to join and help shape the world system, rather than using it to feed the egos and illusions of their leaders.

Oil isn't the only thing fueling that ego. Western useful idiots like Oliver Stone and Sean Penn do their part as Chavez seizes businesses and silences opposition press, TV and radio as his soup kitchen Socialist dream begins to crumble all around him.

Trailer for Stone's documentary on Chavez and other South American statists, here.

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